Nutrient-dense lentil sloppy Joes made with a sweet, spicy, and tangy tomato sauce. All this deliciousness served in the middle of a fresh, doughy bun will take you back to the '90s. It's a meal that's perfectly fine to get all over your face. If you're looking for a foolproof weeknight dinner idea that's packed with flavor and nutrients, you've come to the right place. These easy lentil sloppy Joes are just the right amount of tangy, sweet, and spicy to have you begging for seconds.
Easy Lentil Sloppy Joes [Vegan]
For the Lentils:
- 2 cups uncooked brown lentils
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 whole white onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 5 tablespoons tomato paste
- 27 ounces tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Hot sauce
- 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 tablespoons cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Sea salt & pepper to taste
For Serving (optional):
- 3-6 whole kaiser buns, toasted
- sliced green onions
- avocado slices
- Rinse the lentils. Add them to a pressure cooker with water, and cook on high for 8-10 minutes. We usually cook ours ahead of time in our Instant Pot, but you can use canned if you're short on time or don't own a pressure cooker.
- Once the lentils are almost done, heat olive oil in a large pot on medium. Add in diced onions, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Next, add in minced garlic and diced bell pepper, and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Next, add in garlic powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, fresh oregano, and brown sugar. Stir to combine.
- Then, pour in both cans of tomato sauce, tomato paste, ketchup, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, and Frank's Red Hot sauce (you can omit the hot sauce if you don't want as much spice).
- When the lentils are done, drain any excess water off in a strainer. Mix them into the pot of sauce, put the lid on, and simmer on low-medium for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare the buns by slicing them and lightly brushing each half with some vegan butter or oil. Crisp them up in a toaster oven or in a stovetop pan on medium.
- Once buns are toasty brown, taste lentil sloppy joes and adjust seasoning as needed. Add apple cider vinegar or mustard for tang, brown sugar or ketchup for sweetness, and Frank's or cayenne for more heat.
- Season with salt & pepper to taste, and serve over toasted buns with sliced green onions and avocado on top!